The AFC West is up for grabs this season, with three of the four teams being competitive. There are some big questions in the AFC West for this upcoming training camp, so let’s get to it.
The Broncos have a huge void to fill at the QB position with Peyton Manning’s retirement and, more importantly, Brock Osweiler’s departure to Houston. Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian, and Paxton Lynch are the successor candidates, but Sanchez is the presumed starter. However, if Lynch has a killer training camp, maybe the rookie fron Memphis could land the starting job. The Von Miller re-signing is a huge return to their defense, who only lost one true star in Malik Jackson this offseason. The biggest question is if the defense can return to their 2015 form. Rookies reported to camp on July 24th, and training camp kicks off July 27th.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Contract talks are the early headline for the Chiefs training camp. Eric Berry will be a no show to training camp due to a failure of contract extension negotiations. According to a Fansided report, contract talks halted after the team asked Berry to pay his disability policy in his contract. Berry has expressed he wants to remain a Chief, but there is still no progress in resuming negotiations. Nose tackle Dontari Poe is in a contract year, so in order to score a big re-sign, he’ll have to have a huge season in 2016. Linebacker Justin Houston, who had ACL surgery in February, is unlikely to participate in camp this year. He will be good to go for the regular season, but the exact week is still unknown and he may miss a few games. Other than Berry’s contract troubles, the biggest question is what the offense can get going this year after finding some success with the West Coast attack. Improvement at the receiver position and a healthy Jamaal Charles will determine what the Chiefs’ offense has to bring in 2016.
The Raiders are looking forward to making the playoffs this year, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 2002. With Derek Carr, Latavius Murray, Amari Cooper, and Michael Crabtree returning to provide the offensive fire power this season, expect a competitive team to make some noise in the AFC West. Rookies reported to camp Sunday and veterans report on Thursday. As promising as this season looks, injury has already taken its toll before camp even starts. The Raiders announced Tuesday that rookies Vadal Alexander, Greg Townsend Jr., and veteran Roy Helu Jr. will be sidelined when camp opens up. Helu Jr. and Townsend Jr. are on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, while Alexander is on the Non Football Injury List (NFI). With that being said, the Raiders’ stars are healthy, and the 90 man roster is a go.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
After a very disappointing 4-12 season, the biggest question lies within the Chargers offense, defense, special teams, front office, cheerleaders, and mascot. In other words, everything involving football and the Chargers needs improvement. With Ken Whisenhunt returning as offensive coordinator, there is some upside for the offensive play. The play of Melvin Gordon will be a huge factor this year, along with the offensive line. There is no way Phillip Rivers can take the same beating two years in a row. With the addition of 1st round pick Joey Bosa, the defense looks to improve their pass rush, but Bosa has yet to sign. ESPN Staff Writer Eric D. Williams reports GM Tom Tescalo told The Mighty 1090 AM radio show in San Diego “I don’t know. I guess we’ll see. I really don’t know if he’ll [show up]” when asked if Bosa will report to training camp as negotiations continue over ‘offset language’ and bonus schedules within the #3 overall picks contract.